CloudConnect 2012 at Santa Clara, the conference organized by UBM, has come to an end. This week, there were quite a few OpenStack (previous CloudAve coverage) related news and I thought I will do a single blog post talking about them. Some of them came during the event and some outside of it. This post is a roundup of all the news with my brief take added to the mix. One thing is clear. There is continuing buzz around OpenStack and they are driving the discussions around cloud infrastructure market. There are promising signals about what they can deliver. Now it is time for them to actually deliver. OpenStack has moved from childhood years where they were given free pass through all their troubles, to adolescent years where they will be watched more closely. It is time for them to actually show that the parents (those of us who are advocating the project around the blogosphere) can trust them to stay out of troubles and, actually, deliver on their promises.
Two things I would expect to definitely happen this year
- Full maturity of the compute code
- Keys to the doors of the foundation handed over completely to the community
Even though OpenStack has a vibrant ecosystem around the project with some exciting startups betting their business on them and many service providers announcing cloud services based on OpenStack code, the lack of maturity on the compute part is giving an opportunity to the competing cloud platforms to hit back at them. I think they are now at a stage (adolescent years) where this lack of maturity will not be dealt with kids gloves.
Cloudscaling Bets Big On OpenStack
After riding with Cloud.com’s CloudStack (previous CloudAve coverage) initially, Cloudscaling (founded by fellow CloudAve blogger, Randy Bias) is now betting heavily on OpenStack. This week they moved from a services company into one that offers productized versions of their services (aka solutions) by announcing the release of Open Cloud System (OCS). Even though their launch party was briefly disrupted by the criticism of the way they used the “open cloud” term (check the bottom of this post for my brief take), this is a significant announcement in the OpenStack ecosystem. With this announcement, they are signaling telecom carriers, large service providers and enterprises that they can help them put cloud inside their operations using OpenStack. If I have to simplistically define OCS, I would say it is a repackaging of OpenStack with a few additional components which optimizes the deployment on certain commodity hardware. They have taken what they learned while building cloud for large telecom providers like Korean Telecom and others, standardized it and are making it available for any organization wanting to use OpenStack for their cloud needs. In short, they have made OpenStack palatable to large telcos and enterprises. Yes, we can harp on their open cloud claims and miss the significance of this announcement but I would rather focus on what it means to OpenStack in the big picture. Along with the offerings from Piston and Nebula (who are their direct competitors), Cloudscaling’s OCS has the potential to put OpenStack in more places. In fact, Cloudscaling’s past success with Korean Telecom and others will go a long way in getting telcos and enterprises trust OpenStack as their infrastructure platform of choice. This announcement is big for Cloudscaling and there is no second opinions about it. In the bigger picture, this push by Cloudscaling may end up being one of the biggest contributors to the “eventual success” of OpenStack. Unlike in the case of Piston and Nebula (where we are still waiting to see them showcase big success stories), Cloudscaling’s success with the past consulting projects will help them (and OpenStack) big. I am really looking forward to Cloudscaling showcase few more large success stories using OpenStack this year. Randy, can you do it? 🙂
OpenStack targets developers with TryStack
Another really interesting news that came out today is the availability of TryStack, a free OpenStack sandbox put together by several OpenStack ecosystem players like Dell, HP, NTT and Rackspace hosting. The idea behind this free sandbox is to let developers test out how their application communicates over OpenStack API without going through the hassles of a testdev implementation on their own. According to their release,
TryStack is intended to provide users the ability to launch instances in one of several TryStack zones, representing different OpenStack reference architectures and geographical locations. The first zone available now has 156 cores, 1040GB memory and 59.1 TB of disk storage running the latest OpenStack release (code-name Diablo), Dell™ PowerEdge C6100 and C6105 servers and libvert/KVM.
They will let developers lease resources using the credits given to each registered users and they have 24 hours to test their code after which the instances will be reclaimed for redistribution to others in the waiting list.
This is a pretty smart move on the side of OpenStack because one of the biggest hindrance for large scale developer adoption of OpenStack infrastructure is the difficulties associated in setting up a sandbox for testing. In my conversations with many developers, this is one of the reasons they have quoted why they go to AWS even though they have open source in their DNA. Before they can invest or convince their bosses about using OpenStack based infrastructure, they want an easy way to test their code on the infrastructure and Trystack offers that opportunity.
Rackspace partners with Redapt
Rackspace and Redapt, a Redmond based company that offers packaged IT infrastructure to large organizations, announced a partnership that will put more OpenStack based private clouds in more places. This is yet another channel for Rackspace Cloud Builders to put their OpenStack powered Rackspace Cloud Private Edition.
Cisco showcases cloud management software on OpenStack
Cisco revealed their hands about what they intend to do with their OpenStack support by talking about how their cloud management software now works with the Diablo release of OpenStack running on Cisco UCS. More info on how Cisco’s cloud software is integrated with OpenStack can be found in this post.
My brief take on Open Cloud fiasco
Clearly, the use of Open Cloud by Cloudscaling is a usual marketing nonsense. Even though I agree with Randy Bias of Cloudscaling that open protocols and open source is important, I do not agree with the use of open hardware, a term he uses for commodity hardware, in the definition of open cloud. If cloud is about abstracting away the hardware underneath, I should NOT worry whether it is commodity servers or mainframes. As long as it offers all the characteristics of cloud, the underlying hardware is immaterial.